MahaRERA denies interest payments for project delays
In two separate instances, the Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority (MahaRERA) has denied interest payments to home buyers and instead ordered the builders to finish the projects within revised deadlines.
In the first instance, the authority, hearing an application by 22 home buyers from a housing project in Titwala, directed the developer to advance his possession date from December 2019 to December 2018.
The petitioners, who had booked flats in Kuber Ganraj, a 13-storey tower in Titwala, had sought interest under section 18 of RERA after the developer Kuber Abiraj Infra failed to deliver possession as promised in May 2016.
During the hearing before MahaRERA chairperson Gautam Chatterjee, Kundan Mhatre, developer’s representative, submitted that the project could not be completed for reasons beyond their control, including obstructions by the owner of the adjoining plot.
Mhatre also brought to notice a similar complaint by three other home buyers following which the housing regulator directed the company to handover possession of the apartments by December 2018.
According to the order, the complainants submitted a declaration stating the new deadline is in their favour and agreed to forego interest for the period.
Chatterjee then revised the possession date as December 31, 2018, for the homebuyers. “The complainants shall be at liberty to demand interest at an appropriate stage, as per the provisions of Section 18,” he said in the order.
In the second case on October 16, Chatterjee denied interest payments for delayed possession to home buyer Rujuta Thatte who had booked a flat in Forefront Primeria project in Vile Parle.
His order claimed that this was to ensure that interest payments do not jeopardise the completion of the project at a crucial stage.
The developer had argued that 11 floors of the building were finished and that they were awaiting approval for only two floors.
Chatterjee, however, directed the developer to deliver possession by March 31, 2019, and granted liberty to Thatte to seek interest if the developer could not deliver it by March, 2019.
Referring to the Preamble of RERA, Chatterjee clarified that MahaRERA was expected to safeguard the interests of all stakeholders – not just the home buyers.